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Batteries

Automotive

The rise of Tesla: From boutique to big time?

Since its inception in 2003, Tesla has pushed the development of electric cars at a rate unmatched by any mainstream manufacturer. With niche cars like the Roadster and high-end electric saloons like the Model S, the Silicon Valley startup has a core following among cashed-up early adopters, but March 31 marks the date Elon Musk takes his project to a wider audience with the more affordable Model 3. So how did Tesla get here, and what challenges lie ahead?Read More

Experimental battery charges and recharges via bacteria

Inside your body, the wrong kind of bacteria can sap you of energy. Inside a battery, however, it turns out that the right kind of bacteria can cause an energy boost that might be able to help power our lives. That's the finding from researchers in the Netherlands, who've just developed a bacteria-based battery that they were able to charge and discharge 15 times in a row.
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Electronics

Miniature fuel cell to keep drones aloft for over an hour and phones charged for a week

Drones are being utilized in everything from parcel delivery to search and rescue, but their limited flight times are restricting their ability to travel great distances or stay for extended periods of time in the field. Simply adding more batteries, however, affects flight characteristics and reduces the load the drone can carry. To help solve this problem, researchers at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech) have created a miniature fuel cell they claim not only provides enough energy to keep a drone in the sky for over an hour, but may well find applications in powering everything from smartphones to cars in the not-too-distant future.Read More

Energy

Battery anodes made from pollen are nothing to sneeze at

As our dependence on mobile devices grows and we continue the shift to electric vehicles, there is a need to not only develop better performing batteries but find more accessible and sustainable materials with which to build them. To this end, researchers have now developed an anode for lithium-ion batteries using something those with allergies certainly wouldn't miss: pollen from bees and cattails.Read More

Hovervault wraps hoverboards in a fire-resistant bag

Homescreen Media of Australia has introduced a fire-resistant bag called the Hovervault, to help prevent property damage from battery fires that might occur during the charging, transporting and storing of hoverboards. Made of fiberglass composite materials, the Hovervault is designed to contain a fire in the event of a malfunctioning hoverboard battery.Read More

Automotive

Tiny computers could keep EV batteries from crapping out when one cell dies

Perhaps along with the fact that they don't allow for thousands of miles of travel on a single charge, electric vehicle batteries do have a shortcoming – they're only as good as their weakest cell. That's because all their 100-plus cells are connected in series, meaning that if one of them dies, then the whole battery pack stops working. That could be about to change, however, thanks to research being carried out at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation.Read More

Electronics

Rechargeable paper sheets could help rewrite the book on electricity storage

Using millions of tiny fibers of nanocellulose sheathed with a conductive polymer coating, scientists have created sheets of paper that can store significant amounts of electric charge. Dubbed "power paper," the material is able to be recharged many hundreds of time, and in mere seconds. It is also lightweight, requires no toxic chemicals or heavy metals to create, and may offer a renewable and prolific way to provide energy to all manner of devices.Read More

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